A Crazy Idea

republican

This morning as I looked over today’s latest news, I came across this disturbing news items in The Guardian:

In 23 US states, Republicans hold the governorship and the legislature, giving the party near total control to advance its policies.

Do you realize that is nearly HALF of the total number of states that are considered part of this country?

And without doing a Google search, I would imagine there are other states that are borderline “Republican.”

It truly makes we wonder if there is a way to set these states apart from the rest of “us.” Perhaps they could band together and elect their own “Leader.” (The Democratic states could do the same.) That way, the “red” states could enforce their “conservative” values among the people that support them instead of forcing them on the entire population via the Supreme Court.

In my scenario, the office of POTUS would remain, but would primarily be focused on infrastructure, be the “contact person” for international affairs, and of course have the final word on any kind of military action. (There are most likely scores of other areas, but this is from the top of my head.)

I know … it’s a crazy idea and I also know I haven’t considered the total ramifications of such an action. But I do wish we could come up with some sort of solution because as many of us know, this country is slowly but surely being torn apart at the seams.

I would love to know your thoughts and ideas. Is there ANY kind of feasible solution? Or are we simply destined to live in a country that is slowly being fragmented by two separate ideologies? 

P.S. Don’t be too harsh on me with your comments/opinions. 😔

94 thoughts on “A Crazy Idea

  1. Hello Nan. The issue that bothers me in some of these all Republican controlled states, where Republicans control all branches of government, is that the population is not reflected by the government. Often the state is so gerrymandered and voting restrictions structured so that Democrats can win areas by large margins only to have less seats in government. it is again the rule of the minority over the majority.

    One other point is the concentration of people in cities and blue areas compared to the sparsely populated large tracts of land in the red states. If the red states with Republican governments are so great, why don’t more people want to live there? Instead it seems the population crowds to places that are blue and the majority government is of the Democratic party.

    As for the reordering of the political setup of states to federal government, I am not sure at this point I would trust such controls to states. Already several red states have simply declared they don’t have to follow federal laws, obey any courts they don’t want to, and some sheriffs in these states claim they alone have the power to declare which laws are legal or constitutional regardless of the constitution. Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

      • Hello Nan. Sorry to be a downer. Can I think of a way to do what you suggest? No not really. I want an immigration / refuge program to take those of us that are oppressed minorities in red states to live in blue states that suit us better. Maybe a trade program a conservative for a liberal? 😂😁😉 Hugs

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    • Thank you, Scottie! We (blue voters in red states) work hard to try to counteract the gerrymandering and the outright flouting of laws, but it’s tough and discouraging, for the reasons you mention.

      I like Nan’s idea, but as she said, there are likely problems, one being that I also would only want to try it if we have a solid majority of legislators who are like-minded with us to do it, and we just don’t seem to get quite enough people like that. I don’t know what the solution is. We have a majority at the federal level now, but enough conservative Dems using Manchin as their body shield to keep progress from happening. I hate to say that voting doesn’t help, because it can, but so many voters don’t pay attention to downticket elections. I don’t know how to reach voters around me anymore these days.

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  2. I was told the other day that California is doomed, doomed I tell you, and their solution was to move to a tiny village in Wyoming. I HOPE more boomers of that persuasion do so. LOL.

    Your prescription, Nan, of course, was the original prescription for the United States. United STATES. share Scotty’s diagnosis, but I also fear that the massive centralization and consolidation of corporate capital would make a federation of small states competing in a race to the bottom wouldn’t end up well. By Lincoln’s time, the confederation of small, largely independent states appeared to be obsolete.

    Maybe if we got rid of the centralized army and its 700 foreign military bases and depended on the State militias that would solve another problem, though. 🙂

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    • At least the individuals who think California is “doomed” would consider moving away. You’ve probably heard that some people in the Oregon county I live in actually want to MOVE the entire county –as well as certain other (conservative) counties– and merge with Idaho!

      The warped thinking of some people is hard to fathom.

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  3. Doing anything like this would take a half-dozen Constitutional amendments to make all the necessary changes in the existing powers of the existing federal government and its relationships with the state governments. A Constitutional amendment requires the assent of 2/3 of the Senate, 2/3 of the House, and the legislatures of 3/4 of the states (that is, 38 states at present). In other words, it’s impossible in the current climate.

    Also, most red and blue states are mixed in population 60/40 or so, so any such division of the country would leave huge numbers of people in the “wrong” half. In Texas, for example, Biden got 46% of the vote, even though the entire state is generally considered “red”. If Texas didn’t make voting so difficult, it might be a just-barely-blue state. Here in Oregon, Trump got 40% of the vote. Half the black population lives in the South. Handing them over to a red-states-only government would consign them to permanent second-class citizenship under a new Jim Crow regime with no federal constraints on it. There are several states which are so closely balanced that control of the government can go either way in an election, and others which are changing in character due to migration.

    There’s some room for devolution to more local control, but this is happening anyway with things like “sanctuary cities” which refuse to enforce federal immigration laws, and rural “sanctuary counties” which refuse to enforce state or federal gun-control laws. These things are happening, even though they’re flagrantly illegal, because in practice it’s almost impossible to enforce laws in a place where most of the public considers them illegitimate.

    In the same way, if the Republicans were to flagrantly steal a federal election (by allowing state legislatures to award electoral votes differently than how the state population voted, for example), something like what you’re describing would happen by default, since the blue states (and urban area even in the red states) would no longer view the federal government as legitimate and would start disregarding it. But it would be messy. And I don’t believe such a scenario has a realistic chance of happening.

    I have suggested another solution to the red-blue problem.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Good post!! I especially liked your closing sentence: It will be back securely in our hands again soon enough. — although I tend to have strong doubts considering the way things are going. Even so, I would like to think your analysis is prophetic. Your reasoning definitely has value.

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    • Interesting arguments, Infidel! My only caveat is some of the states Californians are moving to may become uninhabitable sooner than we expected. People grin and bear Phoenix’s 105 degrees, but will a baking suburban sprawl at 125 be livable? Southern Utah is the Promised Land for socially conservative Californians, but when the Colorado River goes dry how will they keep all those golf courses in Saint George green?

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      • Well, we’ll see. So far, rising temperatures don’t seem to be discouraging migration into Arizona. If it gets too hot to live there, people of both political persuasions will start moving out, so some of the “blue” migration to Arizona will be re-directed to Texas or Utah. It will still have its effects on the political character of one or another part of the country.

        I would look at the cause-and-effect relationship from the other direction, though. If a few states shift from purple to reliably blue, it will improve the odds of reversing global warming, because the US will become a more reliable partner in the effort. Global warming is an eminently fixable problem. We know exactly how to do it. It’s just a matter of having the political will to invest the necessary resources and impose the necessary regulations. By and large, the effort is under way — it’s just that the US lagged behind places like India, Europe, and the Arab world during the last four years, for reasons we’re all aware of. If population shifts make the US federal government more reliably Democratic, the US will contribute more to the shift to solar and wind energy and accelerate overall global progress.

        Things like golf courses and grass lawns originated in the notoriously-rainy British Isles and trying to replicate them in a semi-arid or desert climate zone is a silly waste of resources. As for the essentials, it’s perfectly possible to produce large amounts of food in a near-desert. The Israelis developed the necessary technology a long time ago and other places in the Middle East are starting to use similar methods. US agriculture is just too attached to outdated and wasteful traditional practices. We can adapt if changing conditions make it absolutely necessary.

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        • I admire your positivity!

          I will confess I do not share your “global warming is easily fixable” argument. There are SEVEN BILLION human beings. There is no way a non carbon energy regime can support modern industrial civilization. 😦

          If there were 100 million and we could go back to the only sustainable economy (scattered hunting and gathering bands) you might be right. 🙂

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          • It’s actually eight billion now. I believe the evidence supports my position, though. It’s perfectly possible for solar and wind power to generate the necessary electricity for a global civilization that large — we just need to build enough production capacity. We also need to address the issue of animal farming, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gases, but again, this isn’t impossible. This is getting somewhat off track from the post topic, though, so this isn’t really the place for it.

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  4. Another point about Nan’s original post: While most voting in the US fits the two-irreconcilable-cultures model, there are some shifts in voting that don’t. For example, there are a lot of people who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 but also for Trump in 2016. Standard analyses which attribute voting to ideology or racism cannot explain this, but it happened. Republicans did substantially better with minorities and women in 2020 than they did in 2016, which I attribute to Democrats becoming identified with various crackpot cultural issues on which they’re out of step with most of the country. The non-religious segment of the US population has grown from less than 10% in 2000 to over 25% today, mostly due to people abandoning religion (it’s certainly not the non-religious out-breeding the religious), which will hurt the Republicans as they become increasingly a party of Christian fundamentalism. All these changes are likely to produce continuing shifts of states from Republican to Democratic control of vice versa, sometimes in cases which would surprise us today. So even going by party control of state legislatures, the map will not remain static.

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    • “crackpot cultural issues”. For shame! It is TRUTH that a 35 year old man can decide that He is really a woman and demand the right to compete in women’s powerlifting! It is all about what you “feel” is true.

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      • Hello basenjibrian. Just as a married 35 year old man with a loving wife and two children can admit they are gay and start to transition to a life more in keeping with their true self by dating men? Sorry I really disagree with what I took from your comment. Hugs

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            • I agree Brian. The two examples shared are just not analogous. No one can truly alter their biology. Sorry, Nan, I’ll keep quiet too. Promise. 🙂

              But, seriously, the biggest issue I see between Republicans and Democrats has nothing to do with things like racism or the environment at all. It has more to do with things like personal freedom, liberty, and the proper role of the government.

              But, I definitely do not think we should separate into different states. We need to resolve these issues together. I”m not giving up. The media has done more to fuel and deepen this divide between us than anything else. From where I sit, it is greatly exaggerated.

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            • Becky, would you elaborate on this — It has more to do with things like personal freedom, liberty, and the proper role of the government?

              Do you feel your personal freedom and/or liberty is being threatened? If so, in what way? And what do you feel is the “proper role” of government?

              Maybe I missed the boat somewhere along the way, but I always had the idea that Government was for, by, and of the people — not dictated by the whims of the individuals who sat in the office of leadership.

              True, one party will always do/want things that aren’t agreeable to the other party, but from where I sit, the idea of compromise and cooperation seems to no longer exist.

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            • Nan, I”m heading off to the shore, so can’t talk at length. My perception could be off, but what I observe is that things like suppression of speech, for instance, today is more likely to come from the left rather than from the right.

              Here is another issue, relating to racial justice and equality. Conservative/libertarian people want everyone to have equality of opportunity, but the left wants “equity”, equality of results. We can’t have this without a corresponding loss of freedom IMO.

              Here is another thing that I observed just from my time in social work in the inner city and rural Appalachia for that matter. First, I certainly agree that we need a basic social safety net for people who cannot provide for themselves. That’s a no-brainer.

              But, I also know that if the right balance isn’t found, people become dependent on benefits, feel entitled and lose all initiative. Dependency becomes a way of life. I feel like the Democratic party is much more likely to go in the direction of this kind of “welfare mentality,” redistribution of wealth through taxation as the solution than people on the right who are more about encouraging business opportunity, good work ethic, the importance of intact family structure, etc.

              Of course, it doesn’t have to be either-or. If we could put aside animosity, perhaps an even better alternative is out there. But, as long as each side thinks the other is evil, i.e. racists, white supremacists, etc. we are not going to get far.

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            • You didn’t answer my question: Do you feel YOUR pesonal freedoms are being threatened? I didn’t really want a synopsis of your political persuasions because you’ve expressed them before. What I want to know is how does the current political climate affects YOU personally? Has it disrupted your life in any way? Further, do you feel the current administration will change your life in a meaningful way over the next several years?

              Of course, in your response, you’ve hit on some hot spots that I personally feel are B-S — and which the Republican party feels they must constantly reinforce. But this is a discussion for another time.

              P.S. Hope you enjoyed your time away.

              Liked by 1 person

          • Do you feel your personal freedom and/or liberty is being threatened?

            I realize this question was addressed to Becky, but it’s worth pointing out that as long as a woman’s right to abortion or a black person’s right to vote are not fully secure, liberty is indeed being threatened. This is another fundamental problem with the original proposal about dividing the country into autonomous red and blue zones. The government has a responsibility to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens, and if the red states gained that degree of autonomy, the threat to the rights and freedoms of citizens in those states would markedly increase.

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            • Infidel, how are black people’s voting rights being threatened?

              Isn’t it wise to have voter ID laws to protect against fraud? Do we think that somehow people of color are less capable of obtaining an ID card? I realize that I am sharing a lot from personal experience. But, I never had a client of color as a caseworker incapable of obtaining an ID if they wanted one. I mean you can’t get Sudafed in the grocery store without identification.

              Maybe, I’m being clueless, but I don’t get this uproar over voter ID laws. Ok, off to the beach. Interested to hear everyone’s feedback. Should be back Sunday.

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            • Fully secure voting rights are one of the hallmark rights of a liberal democracy. Voting is a transference of power from the individual to a representative body. Any process that makes this more difficult, more onerous, is fundamentally anti-liberal.

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            • @Infidel — One wonders if Becky ever reads the news …

              But then, no doubt, it’s “slanted” by those “liberal” reporters, right?

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            • Hi, Nan, back from the beach. It was fun! Nan, I was speaking in a general sense. For me, personally, in my situation, I’m doing fine.

              Liked by 1 person

      • I guess you’ve been reading the link round-ups on my blog😉. I was also thinking of the whole “woke”/political correctness thing, and the decline of robust support for free speech on the left. These are potentially serious issues in electoral politics. In the UK, the political left has already largely lost the working class and now seems to be losing women, and issues like these play a role in that (all those issues have gone much further in the UK than they have so far in the US). It’s easier over there for people to abandon the left because the political right wing in the UK isn’t crazy or dominated by anti-abortion or religion the way the US Republicans are. But it’s possible to imagine such a shift happening here to some degree, if things get bad enough. Republicans talk about transgenderism and “woke”-ism every chance they get because they know those are winning issues for them. A shift of even 10% or 20% of women Democratic voters to the Republicans would completely transform US politics and turn a whole passel of marginal states from blue to red — another example of how the potential for changes makes a geographical split of the country unworkable.

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  5. Nan: The nesting doesn’t work in this case, but I wanted to comment on your comment at 12:35:

    “Compromise and cooperation no longer seem to exist”

    I am NOT a partisan Democrat, but I will argue strongly that this is PARTICULARLY true of a certain party, a party, I might note to Becky, feels or claims to feel that they are doing “God’s work” so there is no need for compromise. A party all about POWER at all costs, morality and functionality be damned. That party is of course the Republican Party.

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    • Brian, how can we see this so differently? I don’t feel that any of these political parties have a corner on God. This is political theatre. There are as many people who are democrat and quite progressive politically who are religious. I know that from my own experience in church. We are probably pretty much divided down the middle politically.

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      • You’re correct –as far as it goes– that no political party has a corner on God. But the point Brian and many others are trying to make is that within the Republican party, “God” plays a VERY large role. You can’t deny that many of the major issues the party pushes are directly related to Christian beliefs and persuasions. Those who walk on the liberal side want to be able to make their OWN decisions about life … not be forced by “politics” to live a certain way.

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      • Becky: I think your very participation here on this blog means that you are not as typical as you might feel. 🙂 Many Republicans feel very much that they are the Party of God (or Hezbollah, as I like to call them), to the extent that they supported an un-churched, profane, corrupt, sexually promiscuous THING like Donald Trump over actually church going Democrats.

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      • Hello Becky. Earlier you asked about voter ID, I wanted to respond to you but the nesting wouldn’t let me. It is not the requirement of ID that is the problem, but the forms of ID and how hard it is to get them. For instance in some areas where there are colleges the college ID is not allowed yet a hunting / fishing licence or an NRA membership card is. See the discrepancy? For Native Peoples in the Dakota’s the situation is worse, often the requirements demanded are not something they can provide due to being on a reservation which the US government placed them on, yet that keeps them from voting. In my area when the requirement for voting ID’s were strengthened the place to get them was the local tax collectors / DMV, which the state then shut down in every poor area possible requiring the poorer working people needing them to travel and take time off work to get them. Something they couldn’t do. That is the problem with Voter ID, not the requirement but the availability to get them. Hugs

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        • I see your concern, then, Scottie. This is an issue that needs to be addressed. Thanks for an added perspective that I had not considered more deeply.

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          • Hello Becky. That is the joy of these communities, we all bring something to the table others may not have considered. I understand the ID problem better because my spouse just had to redo his Florida drivers licence to the new drivers licence. We all will have to as we renew them. It is a hassle we can do because we are retired, but working people would have required at least one day off work. They require so many different forms of ID plus your birth certificate which he had to order and pay to have notarized, requires your social security card which his was faded so he had to order a new one. This all takes time and money, but the worst was yet to come. He spent over 6 hours at the tax office ( where we get the drivers licences ) doing this. Most working people can not take that time off work and the expense is a hardship for some. Hugs

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            • Ahhhh, but aren’t you glad that Florida takes such painstaking steps to ensure that everyone is treated so fairly and equitably??? Never mind the time and/or expenditures involved … it’s all for a good (Republican) cause!

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            • Texas, 2016, tried to get my 88+ mother a new state ID, she had a valid driver’s license but it had expired & she no longer drove. TX DPS required 1)her 1928 birth certificate from Kettering OH 2)her 1952 marriage license (Tarrant County, TX) 3)her 1984 marriage license (Colin County TX) (to my stepfather) 4)utility bills/rent or property tax receipts (she was in assisted living at the time & of course had none of these). Just for fun, we were white & I was retired and could have chased that sh*t down had I been so inclined (not). Somebody dare tell me that was a fair requirement for voter ID, especially since all I (a male) required was a copy of my birth certificate which I already have…

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    • The problem is that others are thinking “if only there were a set of Biblical principles that everyone shared…..” or “if only there were a set of Marxist principles that everyone shared…..” If everyone agreed on basic principles, we’d hardly need politics at all. But in a pluralistic society, by definition, people don’t — and that means that we face conflicts without easy solutions.

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      • The problem isn’t that we have different sets of principles up for grabs…. it’s that way too many people neither respect the one we have (Constitution and the Bill of Rights) nor grasp how they undermine it in the name of something else.

        I am still amazed how many atheists don’t realize the pernicious religious nature of today’s progressive movement. Most are excellent sheeple.

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        • I have noted elsewhere, tiledb, the prevalence of ideological, just-so thinking among the Woke. And many moderate liberals are in stark denial of how fundamentalist their woke brethren can be, so interested in purity policing and thought control.

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          • And so it’s rather frustrating that because the language has been hijacked, the most illiberal on the Left are often called ‘liberals’ by motivated ideologues – often equivalently illiberal – on the Right!

            According to Orwell, language is the first target (history the second).

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          • Brian and Tildeb, I share your concern. But, how can we make an impact. I read on a blog quite a well back, a gentleman sharing his opinion that conservative evangelical parents should not be able to actively teach their convictions to their kids as this is like a form of child abuse. Where is this going to lead and who gets to decide?

            What if someday those in power deemed that more secular progressive views are harmful to children and should not be actively communicated?

            These folks don’t deeply understand how suppression of speech can cut both ways and set a very dangerous precedent. It’s the antithesis of liberty and everything that our country is about.

            On top of that, it’s through the free interchange of thoughts and ideas that we can come to truth together.

            But, how can we share and talk with folks if they automatically see us as the enemy or a “hater?” My heart goes out especially to the young people caught up in this.

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            • That’s a really good question. Apparently, we’re assured the Elect – the true and only champions of the victimized – will decide for us. This reminds me that although all farm animals are equal, some are more equal than others.

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  6. What I’m saying is that we already have a system that can and does work over time to unite people across a broad range of differences (just consider in the late 50s over 90% of people were against same sex marriage and slightly less a majority against interracial marriage. Those numbers have completely flipped INCLUDING members of ‘deplorable groups’ that today are vilified for intolerance and bigotry). Liberalism works to unite. All of it expressions, however, is predicated and justified on the individual being recognized in law as the base unit for authority granted in exchange for legal equality. Anyone and any party that attempts to alter this equal treatment in law for ALL individuals (which is what many people across the political spectrum are trying to do for this reason or that) is anti-liberal by definition… no matter how well intentioned or righteous or compassionate the person may feel he or she is doing so. Equity policies are anti-liberal.

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  7. I live in one of those states: Texas. Republicans often brag that a Democrat has not held state-wide office in (20+?) many years. It’s true. The last Dem Governor was Ann Richards.

    We have a serious power grid problem. However, the legislature and governor have done virtually nothing to fix it. But they have passed more anti-abortion legislation and now you open carry to your heart’s content. And they will to make a point.

    While gerrymandering and other shenanigans are real, this situation is due to how most Texans vote (or stay home). Now we even have a state AG (a likely criminal in his own right) who brags that were it not for successful voter suppression, the state’s electoral ballots would not have gone for Trump.

    This shit is crazy and it is dangerous. At least we can claim TX as the home of Juneteenth, not that we can legally teach our kids the truth about what that means.

    I am worried about physical violence.

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  8. And then we have sometime in August, when the loons believe Trump is going to take back the presidency…and perhaps another insurrection that is another merely like “a tourist event at the Capitol”, as some idiot Republican said.

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  9. From and Australian POV I think you guys should fix your broken electoral system before you are able to do anything else. You have an electoral college to apply certain criteria to decide the winner of an election even though most people did not vote for them??? NUTS

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    • Probably won’t happen since the Repukes tend to like it the way it is. After all, it has all sorts of nooks and crannies where they can stuff various and sundry voting rules and algorithms and other means to ensure the results are in their favor.

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  10. Hello, Nan. Another fine can of worms you’ve opened for us, and we thank you. I don’t like to come on after the conversation has staled and I wish I hadn’t missed out on it, but stuff happens.

    I’m sorry, but you flipped me out with the suggestion that the final word on war would be left to the chief executive. No way! That is one of our problems today. The legislators are too lazy or chicken doodie to make decisions in line with the constitution.

    Besides the constitution, we were left with some wisdom as to what the nation would face as it developed. It can be found in the Federalist’s Papers. Here are two pieces of advice which we have obviously failed to follow:

    “When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    “We are free today substantially, but the day will come when our Republic will be an impossibility. It will be an impossibility because wealth will be concentrated in the hands of a few. A Republic cannot stand upon bayonets, and when the day comes when the wealth of the nation will be in the hands of a few, then we must rely upon the wisdom of the best elements in the country to readjust the laws of the nations to the changed conditions.”
    James Madison
    (I failed to note which letters they came from.)

    The founding fathers saw the constitution as a godless document that would need the continued attention of the legislature. Just as was noted by the Greek creators of democracy, it requires constant maintenance and jealous attention to those who wish to lead it. In recent years we have tried to cross-breed democracy with theocracy and we have seen the decline in both institutions. We have people in the legislature who have neither the ability nor the desire to legislate. It is far easier to collect donations and bribes.

    Here are a couple of examples of the attitude of GOP legislators toward the constitution and their constituents:

    “The idea of democracy and majority rule really is what goes against our history and what the country stands for,” Paul said. “The Jim Crow laws came out of democracy. That’s what you get when a majority ignores the rights of others.”
    Sen. Rand Paul, Ky.

    Hill in March rationalized his opposition to the Medicaid expansion in remarkable terms:
    “Even though my constituents voted for this lie, I’m going to protect them,” he said. “I am proud to stand against the will of the people.”
    Rep. Justin Hill, Mo.

    According to Rand Paul, this is how the system is supposed to work.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/rand-paul-offers-an-accidentally-useful-jim-crow-analogy-in-rationalizing-his-party-s-illiberal-shift/ar-AAL1OUz?ocid=msedgntp

    These people are Republicans in the original sense as it dealt with democracy: only the Aristocrats, noblemen, the landlords, and the Generals were allowed to participate in government.

    Anyone who thinks their rights are not being corroded is simply not paying attention or is simply too simple. The fact that some feel that their party and their religion is in control is the greatest indication of ignorance. There has never been a government led by religion that worked for the good of the citizens. Democracy and the constitution are a stumbling block for religion and dictators, and capitalists. World history is full of examples of autocrats, oligarchs, plutocrats, and religions taking nations captive and reducing the people to slavery.

    Jefferson said, … removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles;

    When Lee surrendered, he and his Generals were allowed to go free. The corruption was not removed. That cabal is still alive today. They are well represented in our government and were very obvious on 01/06/2021. The stars and bars walked hand in hand with the Christians who were also abundantly obvious. They also stood together during slavery.

    Do you want to hear a crazy idea? Let’s enforce and support the Constitution. Let’s get religion and capitalism out of our law-making process. Of the people, by the people, and for the people. Corporations and churches are not ‘people.’ Men and women who are not compelled by a sense of honor and duty to perform the oath of service to the public have no business holding public office. Anybody who puts a god, a party, or a person above the safety, freedom, and welfare of the people is in conflict with the constitution.

    The conservatives, the Republicans, the GOP, the Trumpanistas, the Confederates, and the Christians who are fighting tooth and nail to take away the freedoms and civil rights of blacks, LGBTQ+, Latinx, Jews, Arabs, and anyone who is not white, straight, Christian can insert my atheist liberal progressive Democrat identity in there when ever they choose.

    Damn right I’m concerned.

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    • I don’t understand how democracy and free markets are at necessary odds., if that is what you are saying.

      It seems to me that socialism is more likely to conflict with democracy, although I realize that this is not necessarily the case, either. But, I feel like a greater risk is certainly there. It’s capitalism(free markets) that most effectively generate wealth, and has lifted many from poverty, in my opinion.

      I realize folks that there are certainly conservative/libertarian people that might be racists or xenophobic. But, I also think there are politically progressive people who might be racists or xenophobic as well. I don’t think that these social problems are necessarily tied to either the left or the right. It depends on the person, and how they come to their views. It relates more to values and character.

      Cagjr, who in their sane mind is out to take away the rights of everyone that is not white, straight, and Christian? Somebody out there on the fringe, but I certainly hope you don’t think that this represents the thought of the vast majority of people that are conservative/libertarian politically. It almost sounds like a conspiracy theory to me. Do you truly know people like this? Have you actually met them and conversed.

      I can tell you right now if they are Christians, they are not following Christ. Enough said. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Becky. I hope you are well. At the risk of stretching the patience of our host Nan, would you explain to me what you mean by socialism? I ask because in the US we use a combination of socialism / capitalism as does most of the world. So unless I understand your definition I don’t understand your point of view. Thanks. Hugs

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        • For me, socialism is where the government controls the means of production. I don’t feel the Netherlands has a socialist economy, for instance. They have free-market economies but have greater govt. involvement in healthcare.

          It does occur to me that if the US wasn’t placed in the position of “policemen for the free world,” we would have more income to spend on other things such as healthcare and social services. I know Trump was not popular in Western Europe when he demanded that our NATO allies step up and contribute their fair share. But, in this, I think he was on the right track.

          Hugs, back atcha Scottie. Trust me, we are not as different as you think. I stand by my opinion that the media and various political operatives have ginned up our differences for their own gain, and have contributed to a widening of the divide.

          Liked by 1 person

          • One of the definitions of “socialism” that I came across is: a totalitarian government and racial superiority. While Republican-leaning individuals pound on the first part of the definition, they themselves are frequently guilty of the second part.

            Further, most that are against “socialism” seem unaware that … Social ownership can be public, collective, cooperative, or of equity.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Becky is right in the sense of the economic version of socialism controlling the means of production. Liberal democracies understand that economic free market systems require regulation to level the playing field for all participants and so some level of socialism – the legal framework necessary for any government to regulate – is necessary. But that ability for governments to regulate does make the system itself socialist! Ask any Republican, for example, if it’s ‘socialism’ for public money to support the local fire department, police, or military, and you’ll find why the difference I just mentioned matters.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Where on earth did you get that definition for Socialism? I have been a socialist for my entire adult life and I have never even heard it being defined as that!!! What does the imaginary concept of race have to do with Socialism?

              The totalitarian governments in Eastern Europe during the last century were in many ways Socialistic in providing free education, free healthcare and the ownership of the means of major production by the people and in speech they aligned themselves with Socialistic ideals, even though in practice they were also very corrupt, extremely conservative and authoritarian. Today some countries in Eastern Europe have laws against Communism, yet they are extremely conservative, corrupt and authoritarian.

              The Nazies were not Socialists, not by any measure, even while they used that word in their party name. The name of the party was chosen before Hitler took it over. Originally he was an agent sent by the conservative politically active German military command to spy on the newly formed nationalist party. The Nazies made it very clear, that they stood against everything Socialism represents and refused the label, even though the word was still there. It was about as logical as anything the Nazies did anyway. The Nazies were Nationalist Conservatives in every stripe and colour – as typically racists are. The Nazi government was not very strong in relation to the German Capitalists, even though it was very authoritarian towards the citizens. Germany was the only major warring country in the entire world, that did not turn into war economics during WW2, not because the war effort would not have needed it, but because it would have been harmfull to the German Capitalists, who at the same time gained profits from slave labour employed by the Nazi government. The profits did not go to the nation or people, but to the Capitalists. Nazi Germany was about as Capitalistic (both ideologically and in practice) country as any in the entire world ever.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I don’t recall the actual location of the definition … but whether accurate or not, there ARE individuals that define socialism as such — and this harkens back to what people in the U.S. have been taught over the years related to the communist party. With your wide knowledge of U.S. history, I’m sure you know this was the Big Scare at one time.

              Personally, I see it more as you suggest. IOW, I think, overall, the practice of socialism (within reason) tends to be a good thing. FAR better than some of the tenets and actions put forth by some others.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Rautakyy, I”m feeling confused. Doesn’t Iceland have a free market economy?

              I realize that the welfare system is more extensive than that of the US. But, I don’t see Iceland as a socialist country like, say, Venezuela. Am I wrong about this?

              To me, the suppression of small businesses is an abuse of the free market and capitalism.

              I feel lost in the weeds here. Any economic system can be abused if the people who have gained power are simply greedy and corrupt.

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            • Becky, I totally agree that any economic system may be abused. Even dictatorships may arise from any economical base. We have plenty of examples of them all. The confusion you refer to might be because Capitalism, Free Markets, Socialism etc. are words used as both prescriptive for ideologies as well as descriptive for economy.

              Venezuela is ruled by a Socialist party, but in terms of real life of economics, it is less Socialistic, than Iceland you mentioned, or perhaps a better comparrison a nother oil producing country – Norway. Simply put, more of the means of production and natural resources in Venezuela are owned by private sector Capitalists, than in Norway. Hence, a Capitalist has more social and economic power in Venezuela, than in Norway ie. the government wether democratically chosen or not has less power. Norvegian people own their own oil. Education and healthcare are better quality, more extensive and more dependent on government funding in Norway, than they are in Venezuela. Norway has a democratic system, that has seen many ruling parties, some of wich have been Socialist, that in general have been the ones to push for legistlation for more extensive public healthcare and higher free education, than their non-Socialist counterparts. As a result even the Conservative parties in Norway have some very Socialistic goals, like the preservation of a wellfare state. Norway is by no means a paradise, but for example they have a far lesser infant death rate, than Venezuela and the USA.

              I think the division between Socialism and Capitalism in ideological terms is very much the same by wich it should be measured in real life. That is, by how well the society treats everyone not just some elite group of owners or the majority, but also all the minorities. The very idea of Socialism is equality. Equal human value – regardless of the utility of the individual or their colour, or creed. The very idea of Capitalism is, that not all people are of equal value and deserve equal treatment, as some are somehow more deserving by birth right or by being clever to have better treatment. Mostly in practice this amounts to a birth right – as your former president Trump, even if he also seemed clever to many. So far so simple, but this is where we get into the weeds. The waters may be muddied by referring to standards like equal opportunity – as if people who are born into wealth did not have better opportunities open to them, or as if somehow people who have wasted their opportunities deserve to be treated badly. Do they? Do they deserve no healthcare or just worse healthcare? Or could it be, that in such basic human needs as food, warmth and health, nobody should be treated as less than any others?

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          • The US are not the “policemen of the free world”. If they are, they are a very corrupt police force indeed. Yes, the US stands against many authoritarian governments and their agression too, but that is rather a byproduct of what the US actually does worldwide, when it “polices” it’s own capitalists interrests. The wars, the US has waged have mostly been disasters, that have produced very little positive effects, to anyone exept the shareholders of US military industry.

            The US has the most expensive military in the world. Many times over any other. Many times greater than China, that has a lot bigger population, than the US. Why? Much of the US military equipment is very expensive crap – but there is a lot of that crap. The military industrial complex in the US has become a funnel for the taxpayers money directly to line the pockets of some Capitalist individuals. This is only possible, if the military industrial complex has enough political leverage to force the government and delude the people into paying for crap.

            The reason why conspiracy theories are so popular is, that there are actual conspiracies in the world. The real conspiracies are not at all that hard to spot, just follow the money.

            The UN is the actual world police and as ineffective, slow and encumbered by constant vetos (many of wich are by the US) it is, it is what we have. It has managed to keep the world from falling to a nother worldwide catastrophy since WW2.

            Free market and capitalism are not synonymous. The nature of free market is that if left on it’s own devices and without policing by an actually democratic and politically strong government, some Capitalists will arise, who may gain monopoly and by far more political power and influence, than any government representing the majority of the people. A Capitalist may use that power for some good, but far more often they use it to create a culture in wich they gain even more power and money by the labour of others in a system where they need to share less and less with the people who actually do the work. That is precisely why the Capitalist tries over and over again insert into politics the idea of small government. The Capitalist does not want anyone to restrict their freedom – the freedom to abuse and exploit their fellow human beings.

            Liked by 2 people

            • I am not surprised the opinion rautakyy holds doesn’t compare or contrast fairly (sure, the ‘United Nations’ is the world’s police force… 75% of which is funded by only one country whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned, one country whose military is worthy of actual and affective global intervention, one country appealed to by populations trying to replace totalitarian or despotic rule, one country whose military protection blankets the safety and security of willing partners, one country that can curtail the military expansion of every other Great Power, one countries whose economic clout and scientific innovation allows every other liberal democracy to maintain a strong position for local independence, and so on) but none of this matters – obviously – when framed as the only real Evil Empire. Why raise any positive contribution whatsoever when the whole reason to talk about the United States is to vilify the United States, to talk incessantly about how short it has fallen in every conceivable way?

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            • I would oppose “crony capitalism.” And, I”m not opposed to some minimal and basic govt. regulation, especially around the issue of safety.

              I think one unfortunate consequence of these extensive and prolonged lockdowns in the US is that the larger retail businesses such as Target, Walmart, and Amazon for that matter were freely open for business while the smaller mom/pop type businesses were forced to close, in many cases eventually going out of business. I couldn’t understand it. It was perfectly acceptable to buy clothing and anything else needed at Walmart or Target. It was my experience that sometimes these stores were crowded as all get out. But, they made a killin.

              What would have been wrong with the smaller establishments being allowed to also stay open and to do business with social distancing and a mask requirement? There would have been less crowding at the huge box stores. My libertarian soul was saddened. We’ve lost small businesses in our town, probably forever.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Tildeb, check your facts. The US does not provide 75% of the UN budget, but rather significantly less. It is the biggest contributor, but China is the second biggest. Now, should we look past human rights violations and agressive military action to further their (and their Capitalist’s) economic interrests, just because they are the second biggest funder for the UN? Where am I claiming, that the US is the only “Evil Empire” out there? I am making the point, that the US taxpayer has been fucked.

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            • Thank you for the correction, rautakyy, about the US’ UN contribution. You are quite right; the contribution varies over the past 40 years from 25-30%. The point I was trying to raise (badly, I admit) is that without the US, there is no UN, no teeth to its peacekeeping missions and, without the political backing of the US, no recourse for weaker members when larger states want to impose their will militarily. The EU is simply and factually not an alternative… unless talking the combatants to death through proper bureaucratic channels is the agreed upon weapon. To suggest the UN is the world’s actual police when it works to effect only so much as the US backs it with actual military capability is at best naive.

              Now look at what we get when the US stops backing a local power broker and it is replaced by militants. Sure, the US has been involved in less than stellar humanitarian efforts and has caused some real problems by the stupidity and shortsightedness of its actions. But seriously, rautakyy, let’s pretend the Russians or Iranians or Chinese admit as much and say and do nothing when such criticisms are aimed their way and taught in their schools. Oh wait…

              Let’s pretend the US is somehow compatible and equivalent in any fair comparison with, say, China and the Uyghurs (unless the US has rounded up all its Mormons, let’s say, or something I haven’t heard anything about and sent them to some reeducation facilities).

              Unconditional bashing of the US is as stupid and shortsighted as are the humanitarian tragedies the US have caused. There is a strong desire to do better and that means admitting to previous errors and trying to correct for them. The problem with doing this publicly is that it gives ammunition to those bent on ONLY criticizing the US who then turn around and present only this shortcomings and failures as if a fair and balanced view when they are neither. They are expressions of discrimination and bias not to the enemies of liberal democracies but in aid of them.

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            • Becky, it seems to me, that the lockdowns you refer to have been very beneficial to the Capitalist. The Capitalist with the most money that is. To think that the small business enterpeneuer is a Capitalist is a bit of a mistake. They are the victims of wild and unbridled political and economic power of the actual Capitalists.

              Here in Finland the government (run by a Socialist prime minister) supported the small time businesses, that have had trouble because of the protective restrictions, by offering them unemployment fees. Many have been saved by that.

              Tildeb, the US may not have done to the Mormons what China is doing to the Uighurs, but it has done that to the Native American population. Has it not? EU? France alone has done more interventions to restore peace at a far better success rate than the US, but so has the UN. AND I am not talking about the US led operations like “Iraqi Freedom”, that was such a “success” in finding and destroying the weapons of mass destrucktion (originally sold to Saddam by the US to freely use against Iran and the Kurds), that was done at the mandate from the UN by the phoney intelligence provided by the US. I mean the dozens of actual UN peacekeeping operations, some of wich have managed to turn an open conflict into a stalemate and some, that have actually managed to stop the conflict alltogether. Never mind the many negotiations, that have, without the use of actual force brought peace to the conflict zones of the world.

              The track record of the US as a “world police” is not very impressive. Is it? After WW2 the Korean war was a disaster, that ended up creating two regressive dictatorships in one country. Was the Vietnam war supposed to be a police action? How did that go? After that the US supported the Khmer Rouge. Why? Because they were the victims of a crime? Was the attack on Grenada supposed to be some sort of policework? Did the US troops in Panama act like policemen? Or is that how police works in the US? What has been the policing role of the US in the Near-East, Israel vs. Palestinians conflict? The US supports Israel, that has stolen the lands of the Palestinians and keeps doing it. In my country the police do not support thieves. If the US went in to do police work in Afghanishtan, what do you suppose the Soviets were doing there? The US supported the Afghan guerillas, that later became the Taliban. Iraq has been a disaster, where Saddam was overthrown, but now Iraq has moved to the same camp with Iran and we had the ISIS as a direct result of US “police” action there, that the poor Kurds and Russians had to bring down. There are more examples, but I think this pretty much demonstrates the problem in thinking the US as some sort of world police. It is just a nother empire defending it’s own Capitalist interrests, when it could be so much more and better.

              The US has been engaged in a lot of good too, I am not saying it has not. However, it would be ridiculous to claim the freedom of other western countries depended upon it. If Germany rearmed (and it could do that with fairly great speed as it has both the economic and technological capacity), who would have the military capability to overwhelm it? The same amount of great powers as were required (twice) before, perhaps. Why would they have to? The entire question of whatifs is pointless. We need to asses the situation that exists and act to make it better. Agreed?

              Finland stands alone by the border of Russia, without the help of the US. We have bought some weapons systems from the US, and I must say, that those have proven to be a bit of a disappointment as they mostly are very expensive and crap. The reason for them being crap is the US system where the Capitalist can sell crap to the US military and make profit. Today Russia does a lot of interventions abroad and there are many Russians who see those only as Russia being a sort of “world police”. Is it? I do not think so.

              The US military is ridiculously expensive in comparrison to what it has achieved. Is it not? Why is there no general public healthcare in the US? Because it is too expensive?

              Liked by 2 people

            • A rather loooong comment, rautakyy, but interesting thoughts. I especially picked up on this one: when it could be so much more and better. Unfortunately, unless the U.S. veers from the pathway it’s on, I doubt this is going to happen. This is not to say that we don’t have much to be proud of … but there are many, many skeletons in our closets.

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            • Just the fact that the US can recognize past injustices and then alter polices and practices to address them – sometimes not far enough, sometimes too far – is unquestionable evidence that liberal democracy works towards real progress over time, towards what Obama so eloquently explained as the principle behind the Constitution’s “a more perfect union.” It’s not a perfect union now – today – nor has it been in the past – yesterday – but it is a union largely yet slowly developed out of the mistakes and triumphs of the past. This process describes what the liberal democracy is – as a verb – and not as so many critics presume is a state of being – a noun– upon which to pronounce superior judgement especially using today’s morality.

              The difficulty all of us face is getting people to stop thinking of the US as this noun when it so obviously is a verb worth having, worth protecting, worth celebrating when legitimately compared against all of human history and every civilization that has come before. Just compare facts to drive this point home. The US is a remarkable human achievement in spite of its many, many failings… demonstrating this point with fallible human attempts at governing perfectly and always. That’s an inhuman demand.

              Remember, as the very first liberal democracy, the US is the pathbreaker and pathfinder behind which every other tribe and country of humans either follows as a liberal or rejects for some kind of authoritarianism. There is no other choice in this world, and that’s the point hard critics of the US unfailing seem to miss in their quest to always uphold the worst aspects as if describing the US and its peoples but who just as unfailing either ignore or condemn with faint praise just how revolutionary and progressive has been the liberal democratic experiment… led – sometimes well, sometimes poorly – by the United States.

              So the important question each of us must ask ourselves regardless of nationality or tribe is not how to break it up or tear it down if we think the governance of human communities can be improved while respecting a maximal amount of rights and freedoms shared by all but how can we do our small part to advance the principle at stake, the principle of doing our very best to make “a more perfect union” not just for Americans but for the population of the globe now alive and yet to be born. Condemnation of all things American is not a good place to start no matter how righteous some may feel is their particular criticism about a particular failure to reach and sustain some personalized version of perfection.

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    • Hello cagjr. Dang I have missed reading your comments. Outstanding! Today I read Heather Cox’s post where she also mentioned something similar.

      Four years before, Douglas had led Congress to throw out the 1820 Missouri Compromise, a federal law that kept the system of Black enslavement out of the land above the southern border of the new slave state of Missouri, in land the U.S. had acquired through the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Eager to enable a transcontinental railroad to run west of Chicago, Douglas introduced a bill to organize a territory in that land in 1854 but, knowing that southern senators would never permit a new free territory that would eventually become a free state without balancing it with a slave state, he wrote a bill for two new territories, not one.

      Both were in territory covered by the Missouri Compromise and thus should have been free under federal law. But Douglas insisted that true democracy meant that the people in the territories should decide whether or not they would welcome slavery to their midst.

      Working as a lawyer back in Illinois, Lincoln recognized that this “popular sovereignty” would guarantee the spread of Black enslavement across the West, since under the Constitution, even a single enslaved Black American in a territory would require laws to protect that “property.” Slave states would eventually outnumber free states in Congress, and their representatives would make human enslavement national.

      In 1858, when Lincoln, now a member of the new Republican Party, challenged Democrat Douglas for his Senate seat, the key issue was whether Douglas’s “democracy” squared with American principles.

      Lincoln said it didn’t. Local voters should not be able to carry enslavement into lands that a majority of Americans wanted free. He did not defend civil rights, but he insisted that the framers had deliberately tried to advance the principles of the Declaration of Independence by using the federal government to limit the expansion of enslavement.

      Douglas insisted it did. In his view, democracy meant that voters in the states and territories could arrange their governments however they wished.

      But central to that belief was who, exactly, would be doing the arranging. “I hold that this Government was made on the white basis, by white men, for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever, and should be administered by white men and none others,” he said. Claiming that he, not Lincoln, was “in favor of preserving this Government as our fathers made it,” he told an audience in Jonesboro, Illinois, “we ought to extend to the negro every right, every privilege, every immunity which he is capable of enjoying, consistent with the good of society. When you ask me what these rights are, what their nature and extent is, I tell you that that is a question which each State of this Union must decide for itself.” His own state of Illinois, he pointed out, rejected Black enslavement, “but we have also decided that… that he shall not vote, hold office, or exercise any political rights. I maintain that Illinois, as a sovereign State, has a right thus to fix her policy….”

      I found it chilling to hear Douglas’s argument from 1858 echo in the Senate today, for after seeing exactly how his argument enabled white southern legislators to cut their Black neighbors out of the vote in the 1870s and then pass Jim Crow laws that lasted for more than 70 years, our lawmakers should know better. How is it possible to square states’ rights and equality without also protecting the right of all adult citizens to vote? Unless everyone has equal access to the ballot, what is there to stop Douglas’s view of “the good of society” from coming to pass yet again? https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/june-22-2021/

      I also am stunned at where we are today. I learn a lot from her posts. BTW if you want to comment on the new blog Nan helped me set up it is at Scottiestoybox.com . Hugs

      Like

        • Hello Nan. Did I use that much of her post? Ouch. I did not realize it in my wanting to share what I read. If you think I did, can you delete all but the link? Thanks. Posting / commenting edicate some times gets away from me. Hugs

          Like

    • Hello John! Thank you for stopping by and sharing the link. I’m not sure I agree with all the findings, but it’s most definitely a thought-provoking survey.

      Like

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